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2010 Best of Sacramento Winner
816 12th St.
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner - Best Restaurant to Dine Alone
Whoever crafted the phrase “snug as a bug in a rug” must have been inspired by a meal at Jim-Denny’s. Opened in 1934, this historic Sacramento institution is teeny, colorful and—yes—snug as can be, serving up some of the most toothsome, juicy burgers in town. On any given day, you’ll find a row of 10 customers (the restaurant calls itself “the home of the 10 busiest seats in Sacramento”) crammed in at the counter, elbow-to-elbow and hunkered over their dripping burgers, while a fry cook expertly flips patties and sizzling onions on a miniscule grill. Walls are plastered with old articles, tattered menus, yellowed photographs and sassy signs, and there’s a (no-frills) outdoor dining area for all the disappointed folks who couldn’t snag a counter seat. Waiters can be a bit humorless and the food is not fancy, but you are guaranteed a hearty, rib-sticking meal at Jim-Denny’s. Aside from its (deservedly) famous burgers, the kitchen’s breakfasts are also worth a try—don’t miss the legendary biscuits and gravy or the “massive pancake” ($4 and big enough to amp up your kids all day). Other breakfast items include create-your-own omelettes and a variety of egg-combo plates. Burgers range from the “Ortega cheeseburger” (Jack cheese, Ortega chiles, mayonnaise and mustard) to the eye-popping “Megaburger,” a one-pound behemoth. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, try Jim-Denny’s hot pastrami sandwich (on a French roll with melted Swiss cheese and brown mustard) or the Ashley’s Tuna Sandwich, on wheat bread with avocado, lettuce, tomato and sunflower seeds. — Kira O’Donnell
Insider tip: If you want one of the 10 seats at the counter for lunch, plan to arrive nice and early.
Reservations: Not accepted
Payment methods: AmEx, MasterCard, Visa
Alcohol: Not available
Hours: Tues.–Sat. 7 a.m.–3 p.m.
Price Range: Inexpensive
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner: Editors' Pick
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